Teen Things

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  • Marvellous Manga


    Naruto, One Piece, My Hero Academia, Jujutsu Kaisen – these are just some of the more popular anime series out there. While these series are available in anime or animated format, the basis for their stories were developed from their original manga. “Manga” refers to Japanese comics or graphic novels.  

    Check out our Learning Playlist on the NLB LearnX site for a selection of curated video introductions to manga!

    What is manga?
    Definition of Manga. Man means whimsical while ga means pictures.
    Manga is an art form that tells a story through the greater usage of pictures over words. However, it doesn’t mean that text is entirely overlooked.

    In fact, text in the form of narration, dialogue, or sound effects all serve to enhance the reader’s experience of the story.   

    Unlike the full-coloured pages of most comics we see today, manga is often presented in black and white. It is typically published in manga-based magazines by the different publishers on a weekly or monthly basis.

    Creators of manga are known as “mangaka” and they often both write and illustrate their own works.

    Definition of Mangaka. Mangaka literally means manga artist, an artist who writes and/or illustrates manga.

    If a series becomes popular, its chapters then later get combined into what is called a “tankōbon” that is, an edition or volume with several chapters in it. 

    Manga is first published as individual chapters. The chapters are later compiled into volumes called Tankobon.

    How to read manga?
    Unlike books in English that are traditionally read from left to right, manga panels and speech bubbles should be read from right to left. Although the sequence can be confusing when you first start reading manga, you will soon get used to it!  

    Japanese manga is read from right to left!

    What genres are there?
    The main genres in manga may not be the ones that you’re familiar with. The usual literary genres, like action, comedy, and science-fiction, are known in the manga world as sub-genres, but not the main genres.  

    Instead, manga is typically sorted by how it is marketed to different demographics or age groups.  

    Here are some popular genres to note:

    1. Shōjo
    Targeted at girls aged 12 to 18, manga of this genre usually centre around the topics of friendship, slice-of-life, and even romance.  Shojo recommendations include Tomo-chan is a Girl! and Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun.

    2. Shōnen
    Targeted at boys aged 12 to 18, manga of this genre usually have themes of action and adventure. Shōnen is the best-selling genre, with many popular series gaining international fame. Shonen recommendations include My Hero Academia and Haikyuu!

    3. Kodomo
    Targeted at children under 12, manga of this genre tend to be episodic, have child-friendly themes, and tell stories that teach readers about the world around them.  Kodomo recommendations include Doraemon and Yotsuba&!

    Manga’s versatility lends itself to adaptations in a variety of multimedia formats. These different types of adaptations can appeal to different demographics.   Examples of manga adaptations include anime series, live-action drama, video games, stage plays and musicals, films, and official soundtracks.

    One such adaptation is anime, which is a style of animation that originates from Japan. It’s rare to discuss manga without also talking about anime, since the former is frequently adapted into the latter. As anime becomes more accessible on popular streaming platforms, it can reach massive audiences and draw new fans into the original manga.  

    Popular manga series are sometimes even adapted into live-action dramas and films, where characters are played by human actors instead of illustrated with 2D computer graphics.  

    The versatility of manga extends beyond film and television. Franchises can cover a range of products such as merchandise and games, which are developed and marketed to beloved fans.

    For example, popular series like Naruto and Bleach have seen developers releasing multiple spin-off video games on gaming consoles such as the Wii, Gameboy, and PlayStation.

    In more recent years, manga has even become a basis for mobile games, furthering the original story and its experience in a portable format.  

    The adaptation of manga is not always one-directional. Did you know that the renowned Pokémon brand actually started out as a video game series? It has since been serialised as a manga given its commercial success.   

    Seeing how versatile and varied manga can be, there’s definitely something for everyone.  

    Welcome to the wide, wonderful world of manga!
    Check out our Learning Playlist on the NLB LearnX site for more manga-related resources!

    As of April 2022, the following public libraries each have a manga collection for you to peruse: 

    • Choa Chu Kang Public Library 
    • Jurong Regional Library 
    • Jurong West Public Library 
    • Woodlands Regional Library
    • Central Public Library – temporarily closed from 13 Jun 2022.
    • Marine Parade Public Library – temporarily closed from 9 May 2022.

    If you prefer eBooks, check out NLB’s eCollection of manga titles here! Browse the “Best of Comics & Graphic Novels” collection, or access titles by publishers such as VIZ Media and Seven Seas Entertainment

    Dr STONE volume 1 book cover.
    Dr. STONE
    Author: Inagaki Riichiro
    Publisher: VIZ Media, 2018 
    Call No.: English 741.5952 INA -[CMX]
    Available as a physical copy only. (Find a copy at the public libraries via the NLB catalogue!)

    One fateful day, all of humanity turned to stone. Many millennia later, Taiju frees himself from the petrification and finds himself surrounded by statues. The situation looks grim—until he runs into his science-loving friend Senku! Together they plan to restart civilisation with the power of science!

    Synopsis from VIZ Media.

    Spy X Family volume 1 book cover.
    Spy x Family
    Author: Endo Tatsuya
    Publisher: VIZ Media, 2020
    Call No.: English 741.5952 END -[CMX]
    Available as a physical copy only. (Find a copy at the public libraries via the NLB catalogue!)

    Master spy Twilight is the best at what he does when it comes to going undercover on dangerous missions in the name of a better world. But when he receives the ultimate impossible assignment—get married and have a kid—he may finally be in over his head!

    Synopsis from VIZ Media.

    Ichi-F book cover.
    Author: Kazuto Tatsuta
    Publisher: Kodansha Comics, 2017
    Call No.: Y 363.17990952117 TAT
    Available as a physical copy only. (Find a copy at the public libraries via the NLB catalogue!) 

    This is the story of a man who took a job. Kazuto Tatsuta was an amateur artist who signed onto the dangerous task of cleaning up the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant, which its workers came to call “Ichi-F.” This is the story of that challenging work, of the trials faced by the local citizens, and of the unique camaraderie that built up between the mostly blue-collar workers who had to face the devious and invisible threat of radiation on a daily basis. After six months, Tatsuta’s body had absorbed the maximum annual dose of radiation allowed by regulations, and he was forced to take a break from the work crew, giving him the time to create this unprecedented, unauthorised, award-winning view of daily life at Fukushima Daiichi.

    Synopsis from Kodansha.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 30 May 2022.)

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  • Travelling Sustainably


    With the lifting of pandemic restrictions, countries are reopening their borders to tourists. However, the increase in travel also threatens Earth’s climate in many ways.

    Sustainable tourism seeks to promote responsible travelling that respects environments, economies, and local communities. Whether you are spending a weekend in neighbouring Malaysia or exploring a different continent, read on to find out how to travel more sustainably.

    1. The Negative Environmental Impacts of Tourism

    Image source: Greentumble.

    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identified three key areas in which tourism degrades the environment—depletion of natural resources; environmental pollution; and biodiversity loss.

    This article urges us to consider the detrimental impact on nature from our tourist activities, such as transportation, hotel stays and other recreational pursuits.

    2. How You Can Do Your Part for Sustainable Tourism

    Image source: Skyscanner.

    Choosing sustainable tourism doesn’t necessarily mean drastic changes to your travelling habits. This article lists actionable steps you can take to be mindful of the environment during your vacation. Some of these ideas can also make for new overseas experiences!

    Image source: Youth Corps Singapore.

    Youth Corps Singapore provides youth, aged 15 and above, with opportunities to implement service-learning projects to benefit overseas communities. Check out their website for resources and more information.

    3. Reusable Things to Travel With

    Image source: GoAbroad.

    While travelling, there are some essentials that we cannot go without. While single-use or disposable items may be convenient, consider bringing your own to reduce waste and save money in the long run! This listicle covers items that you could invest in for daily use as well as your trips abroad.

    For more reads on sustainable tourism, check out these titles!

    Sustainable Travel: The Essential Guide to Positive-Impact Adventures book cover
    Sustainable Travel: The Essential Guide to Positive-Impact Adventures
    Author: Holly Tuppen
    Call No.: English 910.202 TUP -[TRA]
    Publisher: White Lion Publishing, 2021
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    With so many of us looking to travel in a more sustainable way, but not sure how to go about it, this comprehensive guide reveals everything you need to know. It’s a must read for anyone looking to tackle the climate crisis and support nature and people while travelling.

    Synopsis from White Lion Publishing.

    The Eco-Conscious Travel Guide book cover
    The Eco-Conscious Travel Guide
    Author: Georgina Wilson-Powell
    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 2022
    Only available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Whether you have a long weekend or a fortnight to spare, there are plenty of no-fly European adventures to discover.

    From coastal to cultural, mountainous to mouth-watering, The Eco-Conscious Travel Guide offers 30 themed routes you can hop on and hop off at any point, including:

    • Alpine Ambles
    • Ski Escapes
    • Chocolate, Cheese and Carb Delights

    Synopsis from HarperCollins Publishers.

    Sustainable Escapes book cover
    Sustainable Escapes
    Author: James Bainbridge
    Call No.: English 910.292 BAI -[TRA]
    Publisher: Lonely Planet, 2020
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    This is Lonely Planet’s guide to the world’s best eco-friendly resorts and experiences. From eco-lodges with cutting-edge sustainability initiatives to tours designed to protect wildlife and empower communities, you’ll discover remarkable places where you can feel good about spending your time and money.

    Synopsis from Lonely Planet.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 14 June 2022.)

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  • Easy Excel Tips


    Does using Microsoft Excel make you feel confused and confounded? Maybe you have a project with lots of numbers and you’re not sure how to present it? Or you’ve been roped in to be a party planner with a never-ending guest list?

    Amaze your friends and family by showing them a trick or two up your sleeve.

    Scenario: You’re a Party Planner for a marvellous book exchange event!

    Objective: Organise the guest list

    Ready? Let’s get organised!

    1. Open the Excel programme on your computer
    2. Select “Blank workbook”
    3. Type in your headers in row 1, and fill in your guests’ names and the number of books they will each be bringing Excel tip 1

    Instead of typing each number, why not make Excel do most of the work?

    4. Type 1, 2, 3 in column 1, under the header, “No.”
    Excel tip 2

    5. Select the cells A2 to A4 and hover over the bottom right of this selection until the cursor changes to a cross
    Excel tip 3

    6. Drag the cross down the column to fill in the series
    Excel tip 4

    Separating Names using Flash Fill
    Instead of typing each name manually, let Excel work its magic by giving it a pattern to follow.

    7. In cells C2 and D2, type the “First Name” and “Last Name” of cell B2 respectively
    Excel tip 5

    8. Select cell C2, then press the keys CTRL and E to “magically” fill in the “First Name” column. i.e. CTRL + E
    Excel tip 6

    9. Repeat for cell D2 by selecting cell D2. Then, press the keys CTRL and E to fill in the “Last Name” column i.e. CTRL + E
    Excel tip 7

    Creating a Table
    Instead of organising by sight, turn your rows and columns into a table with filters.

    10. Select any cell in your table and press the keys CTRL + A to select all the cells; and press CTRL + T
    Excel tip 8

    11. Press ENTER to create the table that automatically has filters and a colour scheme
    Excel tip 9

    Instead of cutting and pasting rows in alphabetical order, sort them using the filter function.

    12. Click the arrow in cell C1 to bring up the filter list and click “Sort A to Z”
    Excel tip 10

    13. Ta-da! Here’s the list sorted alphabetically
    Excel tip 11

    Sum, Average, Minimum and Maximum
    Instead of using a calculator to count the books, try this!

    14. In cell A12, type “Total” and hit ENTER to make this part of your table
    Excel tip 12

    15. Select cell E12, then mouse over to the top right ribbon and click the arrow beside “∑” to bring up the drop-down list
    Excel tip 13

    16. Click “∑ Sum” and cell E12 now shows the sum of the books
    Excel tip 14

    17. Repeat steps 14 to 16 but with Average, Minimum and Maximum functions
    Excel tip 15

    Time to present your data in a visual form.

    18. Select the range B1 to E11, and click “Insert Recommended Chart” in the top ribbon
    Excel tip 16

    19. Select “Clustered Column” and click “OK”
    Excel tip 17

    Congratulations, you can now get your book exchange party started! Now that you’ve learnt these cool Excel tips, why not use them for school projects too?

    To learn more Excel tricks and shortcuts, watch:

    Source: Excel shortcut keys you SHOULD know!, Leila Gharani.

    Check out these titles if you enjoy mathematics and coding!

    A Maths Journey Around a Deep Sea Adventure
    Authors: Hilary Koll & Steve Mills
    Call No.: Y 510 KOL
    Publisher: Wayland, 2017
    Available as a physical copy only. (Find a copy at the public libraries via the NLB catalogue!)

    Go on a real-life maths journey to practise the core topics of number, geometry, statistics, ratio & proportion, algebra and measurement. Through data visualisation methods, including colourful diagrams, pictograms, illustrations, photographs and infographics, Go Figure! brings maths into the real world in an innovative, exciting and engaging visual way. It makes even the trickiest problem easier to understand and builds valuable confidence in maths!

    Find out how the maths you learn at school can help you go on an adventure deep under the sea!

    Maths challenges encourage you to use real data and fascinating facts to solve mathematical problems that will help you on your travels!

    Synopsis from Wayland.

    Code a Minecraft® Mod in JavaScript Step by Step book cover
    Code a Minecraft® Mod in JavaScript Step by Step
    Author: Joshua Romphf
    Call No.: Y 794.81525 ROM
    Publisher: Rosen Publishing, 2020
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Minecraft is a global phenomenon, adored by millions of gamers, but what if Minecraft could teach vital computer literacy and programming skills? Simply put: It can. This engaging and informative resource is designed to guide coders on a journey to enjoy their favorite game while they learn the basics of JavaScript, which is one of the world’s most popular programming languages. Starting off with brainteasers and working up to real coding, these fun and exciting activities will teach everything needed to know how to write a brand new mod.

    Synopsis from Rosen Publishing.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 16 June 2022.)

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  • The “S” in Skincare is for Sunscreen

    Ah, our lovely tropical weather with the blazing sun! It’s not difficult to get a tan in this city and while it might be desirable for some to show off that golden glow, it’s also important to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays. 

    Dangers of UV Rays

    Source: How UV Rays Damage Skin, DocUnlock.

    Though the sun might be earth’s main source of life, too much of a good thing can be bad for you. The sun produces ultraviolet radiation, and Singapore is cited to be one of the countries that has the highest levels of radiation in the world (Source: Today Online, 2020).

    It is therefore vital for us to protect our skin whenever we are exposed to the sun. We can do so in various ways, and the simplest one is to apply sunscreen.

    Sunscreen should be applied anytime you are exposed to the sun, even if you are indoors. You’d need to reapply more frequently if you are engaging in outdoor activities. 


    What exactly is sunscreen, and is there a difference between it and sunblock?

    It’s all about the ingredients, and the more accurate terms to use for sunblock and sunscreen are “physical sunscreens” and “chemical sunscreens” respectively. Here’s another fun fact - they work differently too! 

    While physical sunscreens act like a layer on your skin and block UV rays, chemical sunscreens don’t. Instead, they absorb the UV rays and expel the resultant small amount of energy as heat. 

    How do you choose a suitable sunscreen for yourself? A tube of sunscreen may boast features such as “SPF 50” or “PA+++”, but what do these values actually mean? 

    1. SPF
    No, this SPF doesn’t stand for Singapore Police Force. SPF in sunscreens refers to “Sun-Protection Factor”, and it helps to confer protection against UVB rays. Does a higher SPF value mean better protection? This video explores the answers.

    Source: Sunscreen Indoors, Really? All You Need To Know For The Right Sunscreen | Talking Point, CNA Insider.

    2. PA+/UVA/Broad Spectrum Protection
    A rating system that originated from Japan, PA+ is an indicator of the level of a product’s protection against UVA rays. Its European Union equivalent is UVA, which is also referred to as “Broad Spectrum Protection” in the United States. 

    If you’re worried that applying sunscreen will agitate your sensitive skin, check out this video for some helpful tips on how to choose a product that works for you!

    Source: Sunscreen for Acne Prone Skin • How to Choose Sunscreens & What to Avoid, Liah Yoo.

    Check these books out!

    Skincare Decoded: The Practical Guide to Beautiful Skin book cover
    Skincare Decoded: The Practical Guide to Beautiful Skin
    Authors: Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu
    Call No.: English 646.726 FU
    Publisher: Weldon Owen, 2021
    Also available as an eBook on NLB Overdrive.

    Depending on who you listen to, the secret to beautiful skin is microbiomes. Or Korean rice water. Or maybe a dermaplaning tool. It feels like you need a degree in chemistry to even understand what these products are, and if they live up to the hype. Luckily, Victoria Fu and Gloria Lu, professional skincare chemists have done that work so you don’t have to. The science may seem complicated, but this book will show you how simple it can be, giving you what you need to make informed decisions about your skin (and your wallet).

    Skincare Actives? Technically, cat sneezes could count. SPF? Yep, super important. Caffeine serums? The science is still out. CBD additives? Not enough studies yet, so the jury’s still out.

    The authors are the creators behind the popular Chemist Confessions Instagram, and this book brings the sass, humor, and solid information they’re known for. Additional chapters address the best ingredients for every skin type and reveal the only four products you really need.  

    Synopsis from Simon & Schuster.

    Skincare Decoded: The Practical Guide to Beautiful Skin book cover
    Skin Care and Make Up (Tips and Tricks)
    Author: Karen Latchana Kenney
    Call No.: Y 646.72 KEN
    Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group, 2015
    Also available as an eBook on NLB Overdrive.

    It’s tricky to keep your skin looking great—but the right healthy habits and the careful use of makeup can make a world of difference. It’s as simple as knowing which products and treatments work best for your skin type, whether it’s oily or dry. Once you’re taking good care of your skin, it’s easy to use makeup to enhance your natural beauty.

    Discover how to make your own skin-care products and perfume. And learn how to choose among different kinds of makeup, how to take care of your products and tools, and how to create your own unique look. With the right tips and tricks, you’ll soon be on your way to fabulous, glowing skin!

    Synopsis from Lerner Books.

    (All websites were last accessed on 26 June 2022.)

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  • Graphic Design is My Passion


    Need something more than MS Paint for your projects? Get creative with five free and easy-to-use online resources for you to experiment with graphic design and web-page building.

    1) Canva Canva site screenshot.

    Image source: Canva.

    A free design website offering a suite of templates, stock images and graphics, audio, and video clips. Some elements require a premium account to access, but you can still create cool designs with a basic account.

    Creating simple and eye-catching designs with pre-existing templates. Templates are already sized for specific needs i.e. Instagram posts, presentations. Big library of free stock graphics, photos, audio and video clips.

    2) Vectr
    Vectr site screenshot.

    Image source: Vectr.

    A free graphics software to create and edit vector graphics online.

    Vector graphics are a type of graphic that don’t lose the quality of their resolution even after scaling and resizing.

    This means you can create images and elements for your designs without worrying about the vector graphics becoming blurry and pixelated when you resize them.

    One-time online usage – no need to create account. Easy to freehand vector graphics and shapes. Downloadable in 3 file formats - .png, .jpg, .svg.

    3) Photopea
    Photopea site screenshot.

    Image source: Photopea.

    A free online image editor that functions similarly to photo-editing software like Adobe Photoshop.

    Users can open and work on a myriad of image file formats, including Adobe files. This is a great programme for beginners, and is more than able to support advanced users with experience in using established and paid programmes.

    Opening file formats that you may not have the software to open. Web-based application that you can use on your web browser. Accessible on mobile – work on the go!

    4) build.mmm.page
    build.mmm.page site screenshot.

    Image source: build.mmm.page.

    A free platform to create personalised, collage-styled webpages.

    You can create simple pages dedicated to anything – for example, you could compile a list of podcasts to check out, create a profile page with all your social media handles, or even curate a collection of your favourite books and movies.

    With its easy drag-and-drop format and capacity to embed media like photos and YouTube videos, mmm.page is great for creating simple scroll pages you can view on both desktop and mobile.

    Simple scroll webpages, adaptable for mobile dimensions. Easy to embed your own .gifs, images, and YouTube videos. Drag-and-drop builder is intuitive for new users.

    5) Pixilart
    Pixilart site screenshot.

    Image source: Pixilart.

    A free web-based app to create cool pixel art, which is digital art made up of many tiny squares to form an image.

    The site provides a canvas for users to create and export illustrations for use, and even share creations with the Pixilart community.

    Gallery with pre-made stamps available for use. Resizing your image after you already completed it. Community-created pixel art tutorials to guide fellow users.

    Learn more
    Library members have free access to the electronic database, LinkedIn Learning for Library. This is an online learning platform that helps users learn skills in creative design, business, software, etc. through video courses taught by recognised industry experts.

    LinkedIn Learning for Library site screenshot.

    Image source: LinkedIn Learning for Library.

    You may access the platform with your myLibrary account, and explore the suite of graphic design and illustration courses on it!

    For more reads on graphic design, check out these titles!

    Creative Pep Talk book cover.
    Creative Pep Talk
    Author: Andy J. Miller
    Call No.: English 741.60922 CRE -[ART]
    Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2017
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Every artist needs a little pep talk now and then. An inspiring tool and beautiful art book in one, Creative Pep Talk offers illustrated words of wisdom from 50 of today’s leading creative professionals.

    Synopsis from Chronicle Books.

    Graphic Design for Everyone book cover.
    Graphic Design for Everyone
    Author: Cath Caldwell
    Call No.: English 741.6 GRA -[ART]
    Publisher: DK Publishing, 2019
    Available as a physical copy only. (Find a copy at the public libraries via the NLB catalogue!)

    Students, entrepreneurs, community groups, social media influencers, bloggers or campaigners: this practical guide is for you, and everyone else who wants to learn how to communicate visually, combining the building blocks of type, photography, illustration, and colour to create designs that inform, influence, and enthrall.

    If you’re ready to use the power of design to take your personal project or burgeoning business to the next level, Graphic Design for Everyone is a one-stop resource to becoming an effective, inspirational visual communicator.

    Synopsis from DK.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

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  • Deep Dive into Marine Biodiversity


    Biodiversity. It’s a term we see in our science textbooks, but what exactly is it?

    We’ve put together some resources to help you understand how biodiversity is intimately related to our daily lives and learn how we can continue to care for the world around us.

    Part 1: Explore biodiversity from your bedroom
    Watch this animation by the Natural History Museum of London to learn what biodiversity is about.

    Source: What is biodiversity?, Natural History Museum.

    Biodiversity: the name we give to the variety of all life on earth.

    Adapted from: What is biodiversity?, Natural History Museum.

    As you can see, biodiversity can be quite broad! Let’s take a closer look at coastal biodiversity, which refers to the plants and animals near or in the sea.

    For a deeper dive into more information, events, and projects on biodiversity in Singapore, check out wildsingapore’s website.

    Part 2: Immerse yourself in nature and get inspired
    Grab a friend and take a walk along a coastal trail in Singapore! Here are some suggestions for where you can go:

    If a relaxing stroll sounds good… Changi Point Coastal Walk (45 min). Walk on the eastern side of Singapore, where you can spot coastal plants and trees, or even the occasional coastal bird if you’re lucky! After that, fuel up with food from the Changi Village hawker centre.

    Source: Changi Point Coastal Walk, NParks Singapore.

    For the avid animal spotters… Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is an especially important hub for migratory birds, nestled in the north of Singapore. Look out for them and other wildlife such as fish, mudskippers, and tree-climbing crabs during the 1–2-hour walk.

    Source: Sungei Buloh Trail, NParks Singapore.

    What’s that in the water? Labrador Coastal Walk (45 min). Catch a breath-taking view of the sea and neighbouring Sentosa along the Bukit Chermin Boardwalk. Look out for crustaceans and seagrass in the intertidal zones, especially during low tide.

    Source: Labrador Park, NParks Singapore.

    The all-in-one. Coast-to-Coast Trail (a day or more). If you’re up for a challenge, embark on this 36km-long trail from Jurong Lake Gardens to Coney Island in Punggol. Plan ahead on how much ground you’d like to cover at a go! The walk also takes you to the Botanic Gardens and Bukit Timah Park, bringing the diversity of flora and fauna you will see to a whole new level.

    Source: Coast-to-Coast Trail, NParks Singapore.

    Tips for a comfortable coastal walk

    Tip 1: Do your research
    Before heading off, double-check the location, opening hours, and entrance fees (if any). Bring water and an umbrella, and always inform an adult of your whereabouts.

    Tip 2: Be present and stay alert
    Keep an eye on your surroundings—take in the ground, vegetation, and water bodies around you.

    Listen for any sounds too! We often rely on our sight but the most surprising finds can come from your other senses.

    Tip 3: Observe the details
    If you pay attention, the small things will reveal themselves—from flowers and fruit in the bushes, the salty smell of the sea and seaweed, to even animals moving around in the trees or in the water.

    All of these form Singapore’s biodiversity in one way or another!

    Tip 4: Reflect and clean up
    After your walk, take some time to think, discuss your observations with a friend, or take to journaling. Make sure to dispose of any trash properly before leaving.

    Part 3: Get involved!
    Now that you’ve learnt a bit more, get further involved and updated with biodiversity matters!

    Here are some ways you can do so:

    • Join a citizen science programme. Participate in a community research project to observe natural spaces and collect data. The information you collect will be further studied to make an impact on conservation strategies in Singapore. Find out more about NPark’s Citizen Science Programmes.
    • Volunteer with non-profits. Put your skills towards a good cause with non-profit organisations that might need help with graphic design, copywriting, or running events. Some organisations you can check out are International Coastal Cleanup Singapore and Waterways Watch Society.
    • Reduce plastic use. Plastic pollution is a big threat to biodiversity. In the oceans, plastic poses a danger to unsuspecting wildlife. If you’re able to, bring your own reusable bags and containers, and take small steps to ensure that plastic waste is recycled or disposed of responsibly.

    Part 4: Stay updated! Social media
    Here are some Instagram accounts that aren’t just about cute animals or breath-taking natural scenery – they also provide some food for thought on how we can better appreciate and help biodiversity around us, both local and globally:

    @coastalnatives.sg on Instagram @naturesocietysingapore on Instagram @bbcearth on Instagram

    If you’re interested to further engage with sustainability and local conservation efforts, these Instagram accounts may just provide that extra green on your feed:

    @sgbeachwarriors on Instagram @theweirdandwild on Instagram @tabaogirl on Instagram

    Read more
    Finally, check out these books on nature and biodiversity!

    Into the Deep book cover.
    Into the Deep: Science, Technology, and the Quest to Protect the Ocean
    Author: Christy Peterson
    Call No.: Y 551.46 PET
    Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books, 2020
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Containing 97 percent of Earth’s water supply, the ocean plays a huge role in regulating global temperatures, supporting plant and animal life, and contributing to the livelihoods of millions of people. But in spite of all this, the ocean remains drastically unexplored, and the details of its impact on human lives aren’t fully understood.

    Every day, mysteries about the ocean are being solved, and every day, new questions come to light. The more scientists learn, the better they are able to answer these new questions.

    What lies in the deep? And who is at the forefront of these exciting discoveries? The scientists and research included in this book shed light on the most pressing issues currently facing oceanographers and point us in the right direction to solving these challenges.

    Synopsis from Lerner Books.

    The Wonders of Nature book cover.
    The Wonders of Nature
    Author: Ben Hoare
    Call No: J 508 HOA
    Publisher: DK Children, 2019
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Explore the curiosities of planet Earth and marvel at the beauty of the natural world in a new way. From opals to orchids and tapirs to toadstools, this beautiful collection brings more than 100 incredible items from the natural world to life. Perfect for all the nature-loving readers on the planet we call home.

    Every page of this reference book reveals fascinating animals, plants, rocks and minerals, and microorganisms that will wow children and adults alike.

    Synopsis from DK.

    The Plastic Problem book cover.
    The Plastic Problem: 60 Small Ways to Reduce Waste and Save the Earth
    Author: Aubre Andrus
    Call No.: J 363.72 AND
    Publisher: Lonely Planet, 2020
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Look around you—plastic is everywhere! It’s in your shoes, pens, toothbrush, car, toys, TV, water bottles, food packaging… It’s so popular that it’s almost impossible to get through one day without using it. And it’s creating major problems for our planet, wildlife and ourselves.

    With The Plastic Problem, you’ll discover loads of brilliant and easy ways to cut plastic out of your life! By becoming a ‘plastic patroller’ instead of a plastic polluter, your actions will help protect our world, and inspire friends and family to do the same.

    Synopsis from Lonely Planet.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 7 October 2021.)

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  • Emailing 101


    So you’ve just been assigned to send an email to an organisation for a school project or a Values in Action (VIA) programme, or maybe you have to apply for an internship.

    You might have crafted a couple of emails to your friends or teachers before, but you aren’t quite sure what exactly goes into such formal emails. 

    Well, don’t worry—we’re here to help you out! Here are some tips and tricks on writing effective emails that are sure to impress.

    Part 1: Email Subject
    Why it should be done well
    This tells people what your email is about at a quick glance. Don’t underestimate its importance—spam filters in your inbox also use this to determine if the email is spam or not!

    Tips: Clearly indicate and specify your objective. Refrain from having a long email subject, as the end may get cut off. Example: Collaboration with NLB.

    Part 2: To/Cc/Bcc
    Why it should be done well
    This is the most important part—your emails need to be sent successfully to the correct recipients!

    Tips: Double-check that all email addresses are correct! The To field is where your recipient’s email address should be. Use the CC field to keep your teachers and groupmates in the loop. If you have sensitive contact details that you do not wish to share with others in the email, use the “BCC” field to keep them unseen.

    Part 3: Salutation
    Why it should be done well
    Always greet your recipient politely—if you sound rude from the start, your recipient may treat your email as spam.

    If your recipient signs off with a particular name, do take note to address them with their preferred name in future correspondences.

    Tips: Address your email’s recipient if you know their identity. If you do not know the identity of your email’s recipient, feel free to address them with Dear Sir/Mdm. Check that the recipient’s name is spelt correctly before sending your email to avoid offending them. Example: Dear Sir/Mdm,

    Part 4: Introduction
    Why it should be done well
    Put yourself in your recipient’s shoes—if you receive an anonymous email, it is likely that you would only spare it a cursory glance, or worse, delete it.

    Tips: Provide a brief introduction about yourself and the objective(s) of writing the email. Example: I am Jayden from Teens Takeover Secondary School, and I am writing on behalf of my project team regarding a collaboration with the library.

    Part 5: Body
    Why it should be done well
    This forms the bulk of your email. Here is where you tell people the details of what you need, and how you’re proposing for it to happen.

    Tips: Keep your email simple and to the point. Many people are busy and don’t have the time to read long essays about your proposal. Consider using bullet points for easy reading. Write all abbreviations in full the first time it’s being mentioned in the email e.g. National Library Board (NLB). Use paragraphs to space out dense emails. You may use headers to section your email. Example: My team and I would like to set up a display in the library about hydroponics. Here are the details: Date of set-up: 31 October 2021. Date of tear-down: 30 November 2021. Preferred library: Jurong West Public Library. Target audience: Teens 13-19 years old. What we will be putting up: 4 A3-sized posterboards. The content of our posters include the history of hydroponics in Singapore, a how-to set-up guide, as well as a photo feature of local spaces with hydroponics.

    Part 6: Conclusion
    Why it should be done well
    Summarise your request so that the recipient is reminded about what they can assist you with. Use this opportunity to let the recipient know how to get in touch with you if they need further details.

    Tips: Briefly summarise your request, and include your deadline where necessary. Emphasise any details of note by bolding or underlining the text so it stands out from the rest of the paragraph. (But don’t bold and underline too much! Just one or two keywords will do). Example: We would appreciate being able to put up this display in the library. As our project deadline is approaching, please let us know if this collaboration will be possible by 30 January 2022. Do let us know if there is more information we can provide. Otherwise, we hope to hear from you soon! Thank you.

    Part 7: Signing off
    Why it should be done well
    End your email politely. Some sign-offs you may use include phrases such as “Thank you”, “Regards”, “Warmest Regards”, and “Best Wishes”.

    The sign off also reiterates to your recipient your preferred name to be addressed by, even if you have introduced yourself earlier.

    Tips: A standard email signature can be useful for adding formality to your email. This can be easily set up in your email account. Differentiate your first and last name so your recipient won’t be confused. You may underline your preferred name too. Avoid including personal information that you do not want to share with others. Example: Regards, Jayden. Jayden Lim. Teens Takeover Secondary School. Secondary 3A.

    Part 8: Attachments
    Why it should be done well
    Sending in a preview of your content as an attachment will help your recipient visualise your request better.

    Tips: Indicate in the email that you’ve added an attachment and what it is for. Check that the attachment is correct. Try to compress your files to prevent overly large emails that would take up your recipient’s inbox space. Some email clients may not be able to deliver oversized files. Example: I’ve attached a sample of the poster in this email for your reference.

    Finally, there are a couple of things to take note of:

    • Re-read your email before sending it. If it helps, get another person to look at your email to catch any errors.
    • Avoid using emojis in your initial email. While using emojis is the norm in your group chats, it may be seen as unprofessional and may cause your recipient to think you are not serious.

    Once you’re done, click send!

    While you’re waiting for a reply, check out these books from the library:

    100 Ways to Improve Your Writing book cover.

    100 Ways to Improve Your Writing
    Author: Gary Provost
    Publisher: Berkley Books, 2019
    Only available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    This is the one guide that anyone who writes—whether student, businessperson, or professional writer—should keep on his or her desk. Filled with professional tips and a wealth of instructive examples, 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing can help solve any writing problem.

    In this compact, easy-to-use volume you’ll find the eternal building blocks of good writing—from grammar and punctuation to topic sentences—as well as advice on challenges such as writer’s block and creating a strong title. It is a must-have resource—perfect for reading cover to cover, or just for keeping on hand for instant reference—now updated and refreshed for the first time.

    Synopsis from Penguin.

    Getting Your First Job book cover.
    Getting Your First Job
    Author: Roberto Angulo
    Call No.: English 650.14 ANG -[BIZ]
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, 2018
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Find—and land—your first job! Finding a job can seem daunting, especially when it’s a brand new experience. There’s a lot to know, and often a lot of pressure. In this book, you’ll discover how to identify your talents and strengths, use your network to your advantage, interview with confidence, and evaluate an offer.

    Written in plain English and packed with step-by-step instructions, it’ll have you writing customized resumes, conducting company research, and utilizing online job search sites, faster than you can say ‘I got the job!’

    Synopsis from John Wiley & Sons.

    Eliza and Her Monsters book cover.
    Eliza and Her Monsters
    Author: Francesca Zappia
    Call No.: Y ZAP
    Publisher: Greenwillow Books, 2017
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community.

    Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

    Synopsis from Harper Collins.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 8 October 2021.)

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  • Fermentation Station: Food Around Us


    Mould, yeast, and bacteria—three must-have ingredients to create a delicious meal!

    Whether it’s that fragrant egg and onion thosai (savoury thin pancake) you had for supper, or a mouth-watering bowl of suan cai yu (pickled fish stew) from your favourite stall, many things we consume daily are made with the help of microorganisms.

    Fortunately, these foods are perfectly safe. They’ve simply undergone a biochemical process known as fermentation.

    Fermentation occurs when microorganisms react with carbohydrate sources in an oxygen-free (or anaerobic) environment (Source: Cravings of a Food Scientist, 2019).

    Mould, yeast, and bacteria break sugars and starches down into acids or alcohols, creating fermented foods which have a particular taste and texture.

    Glucose + Microorganisms in an environment without oxygen and acid/alcohol + carbon dioxide

    Fermentation: Carbohydrate Source + Microorganism - Oxygen = Acid/Alcohol + Carbon Dioxide
    Adapted from: "How Fermentation Makes Food Delicious", Cravings of a Food Scientist.

    Kimchi, a popular Korean side dish, is one of such foods. In particular, it’s created through a common type of fermentation known as lacto-fermentation (Source: Healthline, 2019).

    With lactic acid as a byproduct, food becomes increasingly acidic, and the surrounding air more anaerobic.

    Take a look at how this tangy dish is made, and try identifying the elements involved in the chemical reaction. Which microorganisms are present? What are the carbohydrate sources being broken down?

    Source: How is Kimchi Made?, Reactions.

    You’ve probably seen many other fermented foods like kombucha and sourdough popping up on your feed. But fermentation isn’t just a fad—it’s been around since the Neolithic period, which spanned 10,000 to 4,500 BCE. (Source: Tamang, 2020).

    Kombucha, for example, was first brewed by a physician in Northeast China! Popularised for its supposed medicinal benefits, the drink quickly made its way across the globe. (Source: Forbes, 2017).

    Delve into the history of fermentation with this video. Discover how our tastebuds evolved through centuries to enjoy the sour and umami flavours of fermented foods.

    Source: How We Figured Out Fermentation, PBS Eons.

    These days, the online fermentation community is huge. From the trending fermented honey garlic recipe on TikTok, to people showing off their SCOBY hotels (SCOBY stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”, a fundamental ingredient in making fermented foods like kombucha!), the experimentation with food never stops.

    Ferm Friends
    Brew your food knowledge with these content creators!

    @fermental_state on Instagram @sourdough_librarian on Instagram

    @fermentexperiment on TikTok @johnnykyunghwo on TikTok

    If you’re hungry for more, explore these food reads at the library!

    Science You Can Eat book cover.
    Science You Can Eat
    Author: Stefan Gates
    Call No.: J 641.3 GAT
    Publisher: Doring Kindersley, 2019
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    This exciting kids’ book tackles all the tasty science questions you have about food, plus plenty more that you hadn’t even thought of! Science You Can Eat will transform your kitchen into an awesome lab through 20 fun food experiments.

    This quest of gastronomic wonder is so much more than just another science book for kids! It explores the science of food by asking questions you’re hungry to know the answers to and putting them to the test through fun experiments. The proof is in the pudding.

    Enjoy the delightful weirdness of tricking your taste buds, making slime taste delicious, investigating some of the strangest flavours around and extracting iron from your cereal!

    Synopsis from Dorling Kindersley.

    A Pho Love Story book cover.
    A Pho Love Story
    Author: Loan Le
    Call No.: Y LEL
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2021
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    If Bao Nguyen had to describe himself, he’d say he was a rock. Steady and strong, but not particularly interesting. His grades are average, his social status unremarkable. He works at his parents’ pho restaurant, and even there, he is his parents’ fifth favourite employee. Not ideal.

    If Linh Mai had to describe herself, she’d say she was a firecracker. Stable when unlit, but full of potential for joy and fire. She loves art and dreams pursuing a career in it. The only problem? Her parents rely on her in ways they’re not willing to admit, including working practically full-time at her family’s pho restaurant.

    For years, the Mais and the Nguyens have been at odds, having owned competing, neighboring pho restaurants. Bao and Linh, who’ve avoided each other for most of their lives, both suspect that the feud stems from feelings much deeper than friendly competition.

    But then a chance encounter brings Linh and Bao in the same vicinity despite their best efforts and sparks fly, leading them both to wonder what took so long for them to connect. But then, of course, they immediately remember.

    Can Linh and Bao find love in the midst of feuding families and complicated histories?

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 8 October 2021.)

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  • Music X Technology


    Technology permeates every part of the music industry. The advent of modern technology has completely transformed how we produce, perform, and even consume music today.

    Check out these online resources to explore how the music industry consistently reinvents itself to keep up with the ever-evolving advances of technology.

    A Brief Music History
    “Survival of the fittest” also applies to music—it must reinvent itself with technology in order to match up to modern tastes and preferences.

    This video is a crash course on the history of the music industry and its relationship with technology, dating back to the 1870s when the phonograph record player was invented.

    Source: From Phonographs to Spotify: A Brief History of the Music Industry, Wall Street Journal.

    Check out this acapella mash-up tracing the evolution of music from the 11th century to the 2010s.

    Can you identify the shifts in sound arrangements over the eras? (Please note that the video is only available for viewing on YouTube.)

    Screenshot of Evolution of Music video by Pentatonix

    Source: Evolution of Music, Pentatonix.

    Music & Technology
    Screenshot of 9 Technologies That Changed the Way Musicians Create Music Forever article

    Source: "9 Technologies That Changed the Way Musicians Create Music Forever", Interesting Engineering.

    This listicle introduces some of the most influential inventions to impact the world of music production.

    From pitch-shifting auto-tune processors to electric guitars which have pervaded modern instrumentation, these technological developments have created countless possibilities for musicians to hone their craft.

    Try your hand at creating some music with technology! Loop some simple beats on this minimal beat machine. Screenshot of Martin Wecke beat machine site

    Source: "108 Minimal Beat Machine", Martin Wecke.

    Social Media and the Music Industry
    Screenshot of The impact of technology and social media on the music industry article

    Source: "The Impact of Technology and Social Media on the Music Industry", Econsultancy.

    In the last decade, the boom of social media sites and music streaming platforms has made listening to music more accessible than ever before.

    With a swipe or a click, we’re able to conveniently discover virtually any type of music we desire. Here are some of the notable changes that have happened:
    For consumers: Streaming platforms, such as Spotify and Apple Music, make use of algorithms to curate personalised playlists for their consumers. These playlists help consumers to discover new music based on their preferences and listening habits.
    For artists: With social media platforms connecting artists directly to their audience, artists are able to bypass music labels who traditionally manage the distribution and promotion of their music. This gives artists more freedom of control over their own craft.
    For live performances: Tech innovations introduce new layers to live performances, turning the gig experience from a traditionally aural event to a multi-sensory one. This includes virtual reality concerts and livestreamed shows that you can watch from the comfort of your home.

    Check out these related reads for more on music and technology!

    Using Computer Science in Digital Music Careers book cover.
    Using Computer Science in Digital Music Careers
    Author: Jennifer Culp
    Call No.: Y 780.285 CUL
    Publisher: Rosen Publishing, 2018
    Available as a physical copy only. (Find a copy at the public libraries via the NLB catalogue!)

    Creating music twenty years ago was done very differently from the way it’s created today.

    Musicians can write, record, and mix their own music from a laptop, rather than waiting to make it big through more traditional means. This guide takes readers through real-world career advice, and some of the career paths that can be explored by the music and technology savvy.

    Synopsis from Rosen Publishing.

    Music: A Very Short Introduction book cover.
    Music: A Very Short Introduction
    Author: Nicholas Cook
    Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2021
    Only available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    The world teems with different kinds of music—traditional, folk, classical, jazz, rock, pop—and each type of music tends to come with its own way of thinking. Drawing on a wealth of accessible examples ranging from Beethoven to Chinese zither music, this Very Short Introduction considers the history of music and thinking about music, focusing on its social and cultural dimensions.

    In this new edition Cook explores the impact of digital technology on the production and consumption of music, including how it has transformed participatory music-making and the music business. He also discusses music’s position in a globalized world, from the role it played in historical processes of colonisation and decolonisation to its present-day significance as a vehicle of cross-cultural communication.

    Synopsis from Oxford University Press.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 18 December 2021.)

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  • Science in Ancient Egypt


    It is easy to believe that ancient civilisations had little understanding of the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), when we hear stories from their time where for example, people believed the Sun moved around the Earth.

    However, the wonders and impressive cultural artefacts that have been left behind show a different story, and are evidence of some great thinkers who applied strong STEM principles.

    The Pyramids of Giza is one of the most impressive engineering marvels from Ancient Egypt.

    Standing proudly against the sandy backdrop of the Western Desert in the city of Giza, these massive structures of limestone were assembled almost 4,600 years ago using simple machines.

    Graphic of pyramids

    And the wonders don’t stop there; within the pyramids are passage systems leading to chambers and grottoes that house the mummified remains of royalty, as well as priceless treasures and art.

    But, you don’t have to set off on an expedition to look into the pyramids.

    Take a guided trip through the twisting passageways of the Great Pyramid of Giza right from the comfort of your own home in this 360-degree video by the BBC. Click and drag the video around to check out every nook and cranny of the pyramid!

    Source: 360° Travel inside the Great Pyramid of Giza, BBC.

    Before a body could be laid to rest in these magnificent pyramids, they needed to be mummified. To do so, embalmers in Ancient Egypt used basic scientific principles of osmosis to preserve the bodies.

    After removing the internal organs and setting them aside in jars, the body was packed with natron, a salt found in dried riverbeds (Source: How STEM Built the Egyptian Empire by Xina M. Uhl). It disinfected and dried out the corpse, keeping it from decaying.

    You can watch this process by conducting a similar experiment with an apple. Follow this step-by-step tutorial by Da Vinci TV to make your very own Apple Mummy.

    Source: Make an Apple Mummy | Xploration DIY SCI, Da Vinci Kids.

    Ancient Egyptians also engineered irrigation canals to help grow a variety of plants like barley, onions, garlic, lettuce, and sesame (Source: How STEM Built the Egyptian Empire by Xina M. Uhl).

    However, the most prized plant was the papyrus plant, whose fibres were used to create a type of paper. The stalk was peeled into long strips, and then pressed and dried into sheets.

    Graphic of papyrus

    While you may not have easy access to the papyrus plant today, you can create something similar with any clean brown paper bag you might have at home, then use it in a variety of crafts.

    Make your very own sheet of papyrus! 1 clean brown paper bag, 1 A4-sized sheet of baking paper or clingwrap, 1 pair of scissors, 1 shallow bowl or tray, 2 tablespoons of white glue, 2 tablespoons of water

    Adapted from: Paper Bag Papyrus, Fitchburg Art Museum.

    1. Using the scissors, cut up the clean paper bag into 2cm-wide strips.

    2. Mix the two tablespoons of water with the two tablespoons of white glue.

    3. Dip each strip into the water and glue mixture.

    4. Lay the strips down horizontally onto the baking paper or clingwrap. Make sure the strips overlap slightly. Smooth them out as you go.

    5. Once the horizontal strips reach the length you want your paper to be, start laying the strips vertically on top of the horizontal strips.

    6. Let dry overnight and the next day, you will have a beautiful papyrus-like sheet of paper!

    The finished product! Hi friend, I will never THE NILE our friendship.

    Discover more about how the Ancient Egyptians used STEM principles in their daily lives in these book recommendations!

    How STEM Built the Egyptian Empire book cover.
    How STEM Built the Egyptian Empire
    Author: Xina M. Uhl
    Publisher: The Rosen Publishing Book, 2020
    Call No.: Y 609.32 UHL
    Available as a physical copy only. (Find a copy at the public libraries via the NLB catalogue!)

    Majestic pyramids, frightful mummies, intricate hieroglyphics, and vivid tomb paintings carry the echoes of ancient Egypt through thousands of years into the present. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematical or STEM achievements lay at the heart of the Egyptians’ grandeur. Their brilliant use of basic tools and machines in massive construction projects, the preservation of human remains, and agricultural inventions that remain useful in modern times are just some of the subjects investigated in this volume. Rich in historical context, readers are given a solid understanding of how STEM shaped one of the world’s most fascinating empires.

    Synopsis from Rosen Publishing.

    Craft like the Ancient Egyptians book cover.
    Craft like the Ancient Egyptians
    Author: Jillian Powell
    Publisher: PowerKids Press, 2018
    Call No.: J 745.5 POW
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    With a flair for fashion and a love of cats, the ancient Egyptians weren’t so different from us—except for the mummies and sarcophagi! This engaging book teaches readers about ancient Egyptian culture as they craft their way through history. Readers will love the diverse variety of activities—drawing hieroglyphics in clay, designing their own jewelry, making animal mummies, and more!

    Synopsis from Rosen Publishing.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 11 October 2021.)

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  • Urban Farming: Back to Our Roots


    Did you know that there are food farms in Singapore? They often grow leafy vegetables and rear fish, chickens, and goats. The farms are mostly located in Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Tengah, and occupy less than 1% of Singapore’s total land area (Source: Singapore Food Agency, 2019).

    A small country like Singapore imports over 90% of its food from other countries (Source: Singapore Food Agency, 2019). Yet in recent years, Singapore has been inventive in urban agriculture so that we can produce more of our own food. Being able to sustainably grow food is also linked in many ways to the health of the planet.

    Maybe you have always aspired to be a farmer, or at the least, have green fingers. If you want to grow your own food, you can always start at home with your own spice garden.

    You can also go a step further to experiment with hydroponics, like this Singaporean teenager Hanna Joe did. Click on the image below to watch how she created her own mini urban farm at home! (Please note that the video is only available for viewing on YouTube.)

    Image source: Teen grows sustainable hydroponic farm at home, The Straits Times.

    Hydroponics are a method of growing plants without soil. Plants are submerged in nutrient-rich water and their roots are supported by other materials that retain moisture, like coconut fibre.

    Adapted from: "The What and Why of Hydroponic Farming", Vertical Roots.

    If you’re hesitant to take care of real plants, why not try your hand at virtual farming first with this game by National Geographic:

    National Geographic, Top Crop

    Image source: Top Crop, an interactive game by National Geographic.

    Of course, the best place to go for advice on farming is to those with experience themselves. Why not stop by one of Singapore’s farms with your friends and have a chat with an urban farmer or even attend a masterclass on organic farming? Head down to one of Singapore’s best farms as listed in TimeOut’s article:

    TimeOut article of the best farms in Singapore

    Image source: "9 Best Farms in Singapore to Visit", TimeOut Singapore.

    Finally, check out some of these great reads for more tips and inspiration on growing your own food or starting your own sustainable farming system!

    The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food cover
    The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food
    Authors: Joseph Tychonievich and Liz Anna Kozik
    Call No.: 635 TYC
    Publisher: Ten Speed Press, 2021
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    The first graphic novel guide to growing a successful vegetable garden, from planning, prepping, and planting, to troubleshooting, care, and harvesting. If you are a visual learner, beginning gardener, looking for something new, or have struggled to grow vegetables in the past, you’ll find this unique illustrated format ideal because many gardening concepts—from proper planting techniques to building raised beds—are easier to grasp when presented visually, step by step.

    Synopsis from Penguin Random House.

    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind cover
    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
    Authors: William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
    Call No.: Y 621.453096 KAM
    Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2019
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

    Synopsis from: Penguin Random House.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 28 May 2021.)

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  • Print-and-Play Boardgames


    “Boardgaming” has become an increasingly popular hobby in recent years, often seen as a throwback to the days before online gaming.

    While they may not be as fast-paced as videogames, boardgames can provide a more rounded social experience, as friends, and even family members, can meet up to play a game together.

    Through boardgames, we can also expand our worldview and learn about different cultures and customs.

    One such example is the popular game “Settlers of Catan”, which was inspired by the history of Icelandic Vikings. Learn more about the history of “Settlers of Catan” in this video:

    Source: The Man Who Created Settlers of Catan, A Great Big Story.

    However, the hobby can be expensive – a single boardgame in Singapore often costs more than $20 per game.

    One great alternative is Print-and-Play boardgames. As its name suggests, Print-and-Play boardgames are games that can be printed and assembled at home.

    Many boardgame companies put up Print-and-Play versions of their boardgames online for public use, and the best part is that it is completely free!

    All you will need is: a computer and a printer, paper, scissors, glue, cardboard, [optional] Card sleeves and a set of dice (You can get these from a local boardgame store!)

    Once you have the materials above, all you need to do then is pick a game, print it out, and follow the instructions to assemble the boardgame.

    The assembling process can make for a fun time of social bonding if you ask your friends or family to help as well. Before long, you will have a completely assembled boardgame that’s ready to play!

    Here are 3 websites that provide great Print-and-Play boardgames:

    1) Asmodee Print & Play
    Asmodee is a renowned French boardgames company that has made and owns many award winning boardgames such as Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan and Dixit! Try out a whole roster of free games here!

    Asmodee screenshot

    Source: Asmodee.

    2) PNP Arcade
    PNP Arcade is a website where small and independent boardgame developers can submit and sell their boardgames to be printed and played. There is a free games section that you can check out.

    PNP Arcade screenshot

    Source: PNP Arcade.

    3) goodlittlegames
    Similar to PNP Arcade, goodlittlegames is a website that features boardgames created by independent developers. So far they have a small collection of 16 games, but all are free to print and play!

    goodlittlegames screenshot

    Source: goodlittlegames.

    Game on! Take it to the next level with these books!

    The Everything Tabletop Games Book cover
    The Everything Tabletop Games Book
    Author: Bebo
    Publisher: Adams Media
    Available only as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Tabletop and boardgames aren’t just for rainy days or awkward family events anymore. As the game industry grows, people of all ages are jumping to play “the original social network.”

    In our ever-increasing technological world, playing old-school games is a welcome retreat from the overexposure to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the rest of social media. Over the past few years, board games have become the hot new hobby. Instead of friends sitting around the same table and staring at their phones, they are now either working with or against each other.

    The Everything Tabletop Games Book shows how to play some of the best tabletop games in the world, from classic strategy games like Settlers of Catan to great new games like Gloomhaven. Throughout the book, you’ll learn the different genres of tabletop and boardgames; how to play each game; rules and strategies to help you win; and even where to play online—including new expansions to keep your favorite games fresh and exciting.

    So gather up some friends, pick a game from this book, and start playing! You’ll be having a blast in no time.

    Synopsis from Simon and Schuster.

    Otherworld cover
    Authors: Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
    Call No: Y SEG
    Publisher: Rock the Boat, 2017
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    That’s how Otherworld traps you. It introduces you to sensations you’d never be able to feel in real life. You discover what’s been missing—because it’s taboo or illegal or because you lack the guts to do it for real. And when you find out what’s missing, it’s almost impossible to let it go again.

    There are no screens. There are no controls. You don’t just see and hear it—you taste, smell, and touch it too. In this new reality, there are no laws to break or rules to obey. You can live your best life. Indulge every desire.

    This is Otherworld—a virtual reality game so addictive you’ll never want it to end. And Simon has just discovered that for some, it might not.

    Synopsis from Penguin Random House.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 4 Jun 2021.)

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  • D.I.Y. Blackout Poetry


    Blackout poetry is a form of poetry where an author picks an existing piece of written text to repurpose into a new poem.

    This is done by keeping a selection of words, and blacking out the remaining words you do not want. The result gives the written text a different meaning than it had before.

    There are various ways you can craft a blackout poem, from simply using a single black marker to creating a vibrant and colourful work of art using paint.

    Use any printed resource available, including excerpts of books, and newspaper and magazine clippings.

    Check these videos out to get started!

    Source: How To Make A Newspaper Blackout Poem, Austin Kleon.

    Source: Blackout Poetry, Art with Armstrong.

    You can make blackout poems online too! Click on the image below to test out this interactive blackout poetry module on Blackout Poetry Maker. Make blackout poetry on Blackout Poetry Maker.

    Image source: Blackout Poetry Maker.

    Can’t get enough of poems? Check out these related reads for more!

    Turtle Under Ice cover
    Cast Away
    Author: Naomi Shihab Nye
    Call No.: J 811 NYE
    Publisher: Harper Collins, 2020
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    With poems about food wrappers, lost mittens, plastic straws, refugee children, trashy talk, the environment, connection, community, responsibility to the planet, politics, immigration, time, junk mail, trash collectors, garbage trucks, all that we carry and all that we discard, this is a rich, engaging, moving, and sometimes humorous collection for readers ages twelve to adult.

    Synopsis from Harper Collins.

    Turtle Under ice cover
    Turtle Under Ice
    Author: Juleah del Rosario
    Call No.: Y DEL
    Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2020
    Also available as an eBook on NLB OverDrive.

    Rowena feels like her family is a frayed string of lights that someone needs to fix with electrical tape. After her mother died a few years ago, she and her sister, Ariana, drifted into their own corners of the world, each figuring out in their own separate ways how to exist in a world in which their mother is no longer alive.

    But then Ariana disappears under the cover of night in the middle of a snowstorm, leaving no trace or tracks. When Row wakes up to a world of snow and her sister’s empty bedroom, she is left to piece together the mystery behind where Ariana went and why, realizing along the way that she might be part of the reason Ariana is gone.

    Synopsis from Simon Pulse.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    (All websites were last accessed on 11 Jun 2021.)

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  • K-Drama Book Recommendations


    Annyeong! We’ve all ridden the crest of the K-drama wave late into the night and spent the next day discussing all the details with our friends in fervour. It’s just that exciting. We understand.

    As you wait for the next episode to be released, why not dive into some reading?

    Pick your favourite K-drama tropes and get matched with books containing the same heart-pounding thrills and swoons of your OTPs (that’s One True Pairing and not One-Time Password)!

    Click on the image to access the K-Drama Book Recommendations Quiz!

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  • Mental Health


    Talking about your mental well-being and what affects you emotionally can be difficult. The library can become a valuable resource and a place of solace from everyday stressors.

    Working towards mental well-being starts with small steps. For example, giving yourself a break when needed.

    Check out our curated resources below to learn more about mental health and be inspired in your own mental health journey.

    Looking After Your Mental Health book cover

    Looking After Your Mental Health
    By Alice James & Louie Stowell
    Call No.: Y 616.8900835 JAM
    Publisher: Usborne Publishing, 2018
    Available as a physical copy only. (Find a copy at the public libraries via the NLB catalogue!)

    We talk about our physical health – but not so much how we’re feeling. With lots of practical advice, this lively, accessible guide explains why we have emotions, and what can influence them. Covering everything from friendships, social media and bullying to divorce, depression and eating disorders, this is an essential book for young people.

    Synopsis from Usborne.

    The Thing With Feathers book cover

    The Thing with Feathers
    By McCall Hoyle
    Publisher: Blink, 2017
    This eBook is available on OverDrive

    Emilie Day believes in playing it safe: she’s homeschooled, her best friend is her seizure dog, and she’s probably the only girl on the Outer Banks of North Carolina who can’t swim. Then Emilie’s mom enrolls her in public school, and Emilie goes from studying at home in her pj’s to halls full of strangers. To make matters worse, Emilie is paired with starting point guard Chatham York for a major research project on Emily Dickinson. She should be ecstatic when Chatham shows interest, but she has a problem. She hasn’t told anyone about her epilepsy. Emilie lives in fear her recently adjusted meds will fail and she’ll seize at school. Eventually, the worst happens, and she must decide whether to withdraw to safety or follow a dead poet’s advice and “dwell in possibility.” 

    Synopsis from Harper Collins

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

    Relax and wind down at the end of your day
    Nothing beats a relaxing night after a long day. Be it some skincare or BuJo time, spending quality time with yourself is always great. Check out this video for some inspiration on how to build your own restful night routine. #goodvibesonly

    Source: My relaxing bedtime routine + WORKSHEET to build your own 🌙, The Bliss Bean

    Here are some resources on mental health support in Singapore:

    • mindline.sg
      mindline.sg addresses the need for a trusted platform to improve the wellbeing of people in Singapore through technology. This platform directs people to sites of care and support, based on their self-reported needs and emotional states.
    • Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT)
      Community Health Assessment Team (CHAT) has been helping and supporting young people with mental health concerns since 2009. CHAT is a national outreach and mental health check programme under the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).
    • Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH)
      Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) has been uplifting lives in Singapore’s mental health community since 1968. Their beneficiaries include youths, adults and seniors. 

    Helplines (adapted from The Straits Times):

    • Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444
    • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
    • Institute of Mental Health’s Mobile Crisis Service: 6389-2222
    • Care Corner Counselling Centre (Mandarin):1800-353-5800
    • Silver Ribbon: 6386-1928
    • Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788

    All websites were last accessed on 25 December 2020.

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  • Think Green, Go Green!


    Engage with the world around you and pick up eco-friendly habits by repurposing the things you already have. Become part of a global initiative to combat climate change by making small lifestyle changes and adopting greener practices.

    It’s often difficult to know where to begin, and you may feel like a small seed whose efforts make little difference. Don’t be discouraged! There are many things you can do, and most importantly, it is to get started.

    Here are some resources to help you develop environmental mindfulness ☺️

    Part 1: Reconnect with Nature - Forest Bathing
    Known as shinrin-yoku, forest bathing does not actually involve any bathing. Instead, it is an opportunity for you to leave your tech behind, and spend some quiet time immersed in nature. Learn more about forest bathing and its benefits through this video below:

    Source: The Art and Science of Forest Bathing with Dr Qing Li, Penguin Books UK.

    Here are some simple steps to forest bathe in urban Singapore, so you can take a short breather from your hectic schedules and connect with the world around you:

    • Choose a park with some trees near your home. Remember to pack water and food, and inform your parents/guardian on your whereabouts before leaving home.
    • Immerse yourself in your surroundings as you wander around the park for at least 15 minutes.
    • Listen to the sounds around you, look at the shapes of the leaves on the trees, and feel the sensation of the ground beneath your feet.
    • If you are with someone, resist talking until the end of the walk.
    • Self-reflect after your walk. How did you feel? What did you experience?

    Adapted from “5 Simple Steps to Practising Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing).” Grow Wild UK.

    Part 2: Reduce Your Carbon Footprint - Upcycle a T-shirt
    Have you ever thought about where most of your clothes come from? Where do these fast fashion pieces go after you are done with them? 

    Watch this TED-Ed video below to learn more about the life cycle of a T-shirt:

    Source: The Life Cycle of a T-shirt by Angel Chang, TED-Ed.

    Extend the life cycle of your clothes and upgrade your existing wardrobe by creatively upcycling them. Before you throw that old T-shirt away, think twice! Turn it into a functional tote bag in just a few simple steps. 

    You’ll need:

    • T-Shirt
    • Fabric Scissors
    • Embellishments/Decorative elements

    Try this out and tag us at @publiclibrarysg with #librarysg.

    Source: DIY NO Sew T-Shirt Bag (SO Easy!!), WhatsUpMoms

    Useful terms
    Fast fashion refers to the trendy and inexpensive clothing that is manufactured and sold on a mass scale. This practice may be harmful to the environment at many stages.

    Adapted from “What Is Fast Fashion, Anyway?” Today Online, 29 January 2019.

    Upcycling refers to the process of recycling something into a product of a higher value than the original item.

    Adapted from: “Upcycle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster.

    Part 3: Stay Informed - Engage with Other Youths
    Want to further engage with the topics of environmental sustainability? The UNICEF organisation Voices of Youth is a global digital community of young people speaking up about and taking on climate change. Read opinion pieces and poems written by other young people from around the world here.

    Voices of Youth screengrab

    Image credit: Screengrab from the official site of Voices of Youth.

    Source: Voices of Youth

    (All websites were last accessed on 18 December 2020.)

    Be inspired!

    Check out these related reads for more.

    Joy of Forest Bathing cover

    The Joy of Forest Bathing: Reconnect with Wild Places & Rejuvenate Your Life
    By Melanie Choukas-Bradley, illustrated by Lieke van der Vorst
    Publisher: Rock Point, 2018
    This eBook is available on OverDrive.

    A simple antidote to our nature-starved lives, The Joy of Forest Bathing is an enticing and comprehensive introduction to forest bathing–or Shinrin-yoku, in Japan–the meditative practice of connecting with nature and disconnecting from the distractions of daily life.

    Synopsis from Quarto Knows.

    Wear Repair Repurpose book cover

    Wear, Repair, Repurpose: A Maker’s Guide To Mending and Upcycling Clothes
    By Lily Fulop
    Publisher: Countryman Press, 2020
    This eBook is available on OverDrive.

    Repair your favorite socks with style, add flair with personalized patches, and turn ripped jeans into an embroidered masterpiece. For beginner and experienced makers, Lily Fulop’s guide to mending and upcycling is your colorful companion to ditching fast fashion and extending the lifecycle of all your favorite clothes. Say hello to sustainable inspiration.

    Synopsis from W. W. Norton.

    The Beast of Cretacea book cover

    The Beast of Cretacea
    By Todd Strasser
    Publisher: Candlewick, 2015
    This eBook is available on OverDrive.

    Master storyteller Todd Strasser reimagines the classic tale of Moby Dick as set in the future - and takes readers on an epic sci-fi adventure. When seventeen-year-old Ishmael wakes up from stasis aboard the Pequod, he is amazed by how different this planet is from the dirty, dying, Shroud-covered Earth he left behind. But Ishmael isn’t on Cretacea to marvel at the fresh air, sunshine, and endless blue ocean. He’s here to work, risking his life to hunt down great ocean-dwelling beasts to harvest and send back to the resource-depleted Earth.

    Synopsis from Candlewick

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

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  • Cooking Mac & Cheese


    The act of cooking not only soothes the mind, but also relaxes your body. Getting into the flow of the activity can help to ease the tension in our bodies. What’s more, you get a delicious meal out of it!

    Make your own Mac & Cheese
    Whip up this Mac & Cheese with minimal fuss anytime! Snap a photo and wow your friends with your own creation of Mac & Cheese using simple ingredients. 

    • 200 grams of Cheddar Cheese
    • 1 litre of Milk
    • 340 grams of Macaroni or any Pasta
    • 1 teaspoon of Salt
    • ¼ teaspoon of Black pepper
    • ¼ teaspoon of Paprika 

    Try this recipe and tag us at @publiclibrarysg with #librarysg 🧀

    Source: Easy 3-Ingredient Mac and Cheese Recipe (One Pot)

    How much do you know about Mac & Cheese? Here are 5 fun facts about the hearty and cheesy meal! Mac & cheese fact 1 Mac & cheese fact 2 Mac & cheese fact 3 Mac & cheese fact 4 Mac & cheese fact 5


    More cooking resources

    • 25 Common Cooking Mistakes You Should Avoid – Check out this list of commonly made culinary mistakes that you should avoid to help make every cooking adventure a success!
    • Create Nutrition Facts for Any Recipe – Whether you need to keep track of calories or monitor specific nutritional and dietary needs, this recipe analyzer can help.
    • Supercook – Reverse engineer recipes by using this unique search engine. Simply type in the ingredients you have in your fridge or pantry. Within seconds, you’ll have a variety of recipes you can choose from.
    • Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes – Unless a recipe contains complex terms and difficult processes, anyone who can read a recipe can cook. Follow this link to find recipes on Martha Stewart’s site that will make preparing dinners fast and simple.

    (All websites were last accessed on 11 December 2020.)

    Be inspired!

    Read these eBooks to step up your food game!

    Mac + Cheese Cookbook book cover

    The Mac + Cheese Cookbook
    By Allison Arevalo & Erin Wade
    Publisher: Ten Speed, 2013
    This eBook is available on OverDrive.

    These inventive dishes offer something for everyone: nostalgic homestyle recipes like Tuna Mac, international varieties like Sriracha Mac, decadent delights like Truffle Mac, and even the logic-defying Vegan Mac. You’ll also find recipes for quick veggie sides like Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and old-school desserts like frozen Peanut Butter Pie. 

    Synopsis from Penguin Random House.

    The Teen Kitchen book cover

    The Teen Kitchen: Recipes We Love to Cook [A Cookbook]
    By Emily Allen & Lyla Allen
    Publisher: Ten Speed, 2019
    This eBook is available on OverDrive

    A colourful and engaging cookbook, written by teenage media stars The Kitchen Twins, with more than 75 accessible, fun, healthy, and delicious recipes for everyday cooking. They also introduce you to the basic tools a young chef needs, explaining how to stay safe in the kitchen and outlining techniques.

    Synopsis from Penguin Random House.

    Pasta Modern book cover

    Pasta Modern: New & Inspired Recipes from Italy
    By Francine Segan & Lucy Schaeffer
    Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, 2018
    This eBook is available on OverDrive.

    In this beautifully photographed cookbook, the author, Segan details the hottest, newest, and most unusual pasta dishes from Italy’s food bloggers, home cooks, artisan pasta makers, and vanguard chefs. The one hundred pasta recipes, including many vegan and vegetarian specialties, ranging from simple, elegant to complex.

    Synopsis from Harry N. Abrams

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

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  • Escape Rooms Online


    Escape rooms are usually places that allow participants to experience live choose-your-own-adventure stories. Did you know that escape rooms are also available online?

    Librarians around the world have created several escape rooms based off books, stories, and sometimes even fandoms (there’s even one that tests your K-pop knowledge). You can play these with your friends and family from the comfort of your own homes through digital platforms where you can share screens and use annotation functions to find the answers together.

    Here are several escape rooms we’ve picked out for you! Click the images to get started.

    Hogwarts Digital Escape Room

    Been waiting for your letter to Hogwarts? Now’s your chance to enter the school grounds.

    Hogwarts image

    Image credit: Film still from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Warner Brothers, 2001)

    Source: The Hogwarts Digital Escape Room is prepared by Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania, USA.

    Re-visit your favourite Harry Potter titles by checking out these eBooks!

    Escape from Camp Half-Blood
    If you like Percy Jackson, here’s your chance to inhabit the shoes of a demi-god in training and work through the trials of the Olympians. Earn your right to quest alongside the best of heroes.

    Camp Half Blood map image

    Image credit: Illustrated Map of Camp Half-Blood from the official site of Rick Riordan, https://www.rickriordan.com.

    Source: The Escape from Camp Half-Blood escape room is created by St Albans Library in Hertfordshire, UK.

    Need a refresher on the adventures of Percy Jackson? eBooks available for loan right here!

    Are You Ready for the Hunger Games?: A Virtual Escape Room

    Enter into a far dystopian future and take part in a Tribute training camp in preparation for the 10th Hunger Games. You must survive by completing visual and audio tasks that will test your memory. Most of all, keep an eye out for Corialanus Snow, who is w a t c h i n g you.

    Hunger Games image

    Image credit: Film still from The Hunger Games (Lionsgate, 2012)

    Source: The Are You Ready for the Hunger Games?: A Virtual Escape Room is created by the tween and teen librarians at the Public Library of Brookline in Massachusetts, USA.

    Ready to dive into the story of the Hunger Games once more? Check out the eBooks for the original book series and the newly released prequel here.

    My Hero Academia Escape Room

    Enter the world of Quirks created by Japanese Manga artist Kohei Horikoshi and get involved in the U.A. High Entrance Exam. Do well enough to pass the entrance exam and join the ranks of your talented seniors in U.A.!

    My Hero Academia image

    Image credit: Cover of My Hero Academia Vol. 4, illustrated by Kohei Horikoshi and published by Viz Media

    Source: My Hero Academia Escape Room is a venture by the Cedar Mill and Bethany Library in Portland, Oregon, USA.

    Copies of the My Hero Academia manga are available for borrowing at the these libraries:

    • Central Public Library (that’s at Bugis!)
    • Jurong Regional Library
    • Jurong West Public Library
    • Woodlands Regional Library

    Can You Escape the Tower?

    Fans of fairytales – this one’s for you. Rapunzel’s got more spunk than expected! When the Prince proposes to escape, she’s completely on board. Work through logic puzzle traps and decode cryptic messages to flee from the wicked witch!

    Rapunzel image

    Image credit: Kadriya Gatina, 123rf

    Source: Can you escape the tower? is an escape room created by the Andover Public Library in Kansas, USA.

    Check out this eBook for a choose-your-own-adventure story featuring Rapunzel!

    (All websites were last accessed on 3 December 2020.)

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  • Virtual Tours: Ten Places Across the Globe You Can Explore From Home


    With virtual travel and digital tours becoming increasingly common, you can now embark on a journey to faraway places all over the world from the comfort of your home! Click on the links and images to get started.


    Curious about our very own Lion city? Go on VR tours with Curiocity and travel back in time to discover and rediscover Singapore through story maps and photographs. Visit it here!

    Curiocity screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from Curiocity.

    Singapore Philatelic Museum, Singapore
    Travel to the fictional world of Planet B612 and catch a behind-the-scenes look at Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s beloved book The Little Prince here! (Please note that Adobe Flashplayer or HTML5 Browser with WebGL or CSS3D support is required to access the site.)

    The Little Prince screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from Singapore Philatelic Museum.


    The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
    Traverse the last standing wonder of the ancient world here, and explore how this man-made monument was built to survive eternity.

    Pyramids of Giza screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from Google Maps.


    Louvre, France
    Explore the virtual interactive exhibit “Founding Myths: From Hercules to Darth Vader” to learn how artists, musicians, and filmmakers all over the globe have drawn inspiration from myths, and brought them to life. Visit it here!

    Louvre screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from The Petite Galerie.

    Van Gogh Museum, Netherlands
    Find out about Vincent van Gogh’s reading habits (and surprising literary connections!) in this virtual exhibit by the Van Gogh Museum here.

    Van Gogh screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from Google Arts & Culture.


    National Parks, The United States of America
    Follow US National Park Rangers through the hidden worlds of five different National Parks across the United States of America here.

    National Parks screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from Google Arts & Culture.


    Machu Picchu, Peru
    Virtually journey through the citadel of Machu Picchu with an audio guide, and learn more about the most famous ruin from the Inca civilisation here.

    Machu Picchu screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from Machu Picchu virtual tour.


    The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
    Dive deep into the reefs of Australia to discover the fascinating world under the sea through interactive virtual maps with natural historian, David Attenborough, here.

    Attenborough's reef screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from Attenborough's Reef.


    Experience the coldest place on Earth (and its adorable inhabitants!) in this series of 360-degree virtual reality videos. (Please note that a mobile device or a compatible browser on desktop is required to view the VR videos.)

    Source: Antarctica: 360° Virtual Reality Experience playlist.


    Exoplanet Travel Bureau, Outer Space
    Take a 360-degree tour of the surfaces of planets outside our solar system with NASA here. (Please note that a WebGL-supported browser is required for viewing the Exoplanet Travel Bureau site.)

    Exoplanet screengrab

    Source: Screengrab from NASA.

    (All websites were last accessed on 27 November 2020.)

    Be inspired!

    Reading takes you everywhere; tour the world and travel through time and space with these book recommendations!

    Lonely Planet book cover

    The Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World
    By Lonely Planet Kids
    Publisher: Lonely Planet Global Limited, 2015
    This book is only available as an eBook on OverDrive.

    Take a world tour through 200 countries with this brand new edition of the bestselling kids’ version of Lonely Planet’s popular The Travel Book, loaded with thousands of amazing facts on wildlife, how people live, sports, hideous and mouthwatering food, festivals and a wide range of other quirky insights on every page. Every single country gets its own dedicated page, and a mix of photography and beautiful illustrations brings each land to life.

    Synopsis from Lonely Planet.

    A Wrinkle in Time book cover

    A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
    By Madaleine L’engle, illustrated by Hope Larson
    Call No.: Y 741.5973 LAR
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
    This eBook is available on OverDrive.

    A graphic novel adaptation of the classic tale in which Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

    Synopsis from Macmillan.

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

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  • Boba Book Recommendations


    Like to curl up with a drink and a book? Enjoy a bubble tea and we’ll provide you with a book recommendation. Go on, try it (you’re welcome)!

    Boba Book Recommendations

    (Click the image to access the Boba Book Recommendations Quiz)

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  • DIY Room Decor


    Give your room an instant makeover – create a personalized photo wall collage with your favourite things and memories that will bring you joy!

    You’ll need:

    • Your favourite photos
    • Removable multipurpose adhesive like sticky putty
    • Optional items: yarns, thumbtacks, coloured papers and paper clips

    Try this out and tag us at @publiclibrarysg with #librarysg

    Source: 10 Tumblr Photo Wall Ideas ! ~ Cute Ways to Display & Organize Photos In Your Room (Jul 2016)

    Be inspired!

    Read these eBooks for more transformative ideas for your space and lifestyle.

    Room love image

    Room Love: 50 DIY Projects to Design Your Space
    By Heather Wutschke
    Publisher: Capstone

    A floor, a ceiling, and four boring walls? No more! Get creative, show your room some love, and turn your personal space into your happy place. Show off your style and personality with DIY pizzazz to makeover furniture, create one-of-a-kind decor, and organize your stuff with dozens of projects and ideas to make your room as unique as you are!

    This eBook is available on OverDrive at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/3690653

    Living simply image

    Living Simply: A Teen Guide to Minimalism
    By Sally McGraw
    Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

    Minimalism has evolved into an Earth-friendly lifestyle focusing on the three Rs (reducing, recycling, and reusing) and on simplifying individual needs to reduce one’s carbon imprint. Hands-on activities, how-to tips, and profiles of practicing minimalists offer real-world examples for incorporating minimalism into your life.

    This eBook is available on OverDrive at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4475978

    Teen tip image

    Get your sleep cycle back on track before school holidays end. You can start by re-establishing daily routine, avoiding long naps, and reducing screen time and vigorous activities an hour before bed.

    Source: https://theconversation.com/seven-tips-to-get-your-sleep-cycle-back-on-track-during-lockdown-135595 (April 2020)

    (All websites were last accessed on 27 May 2020.)

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

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  • Science Exploration


    “Grow” your unique rock candy and wonder at the process of crystallization. Not only is this a fun experiment but the result is also tasty!

    You’ll need:

    • Water
    • Sugar
    • Food coloring and flavors (optional)
    • Lollipop sticks or bamboo sticks
    • Wide glasses or mason jars
    • Clothespins or hairclips

    Try this out and tag us at @publiclibrarysg with #librarysg

    Source: Grow Peppermint Sugar Crystals (31 December 2016)

    Delve into the science behind rock candy here.

    Be inspired!

    Read these eBooks for mind-blowing science facts and revelations on quirky food myths.

    Everyday amazing image

    Everyday Amazing
    By Beatrice the Biologist
    Publisher: Adams Media

    Learn the basics of atomic science, sound waves, bioscience, microbiology, and more in accessible chapters offering a fresh perspective on concepts you may have learned about, but aren’t totally clear on. Quirky illustrations throughout add to the fun!

    This eBook is available on Overdrive at https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4500950

    Did you just eat that image

    Did You Just Eat That? (Two Scientists Explore Double-Dipping, the Five-Second Rule, and other Food Myths in the Lab)
    By Paul Dawson & Brian Sheldon
    Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

    Food scientists, Paul Dawson and Brian Sheldon, take readers into the lab to show how they determine the number of bacteria that get transferred by sharing utensils or how many microbes live on restaurant menus. Written with candid humor and richly illustrated, this fascinating book will reveal surprising answers to the most frequently debated questions about food and germs.

    This eBook is available on Overdrive at https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/3911531

    Teen tip image

    Too much screen time and sitting down? Balance that with at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical exercise each day at least three days a week. Be sure to have activities that strengthen and build muscles and bones.

    Source: https://raisingchildren.net.au/teens/healthy-lifestyle/physical-activity/physical-activity-teens

    Kick-start your fitness with daily workout sessions by Singapore Sports Hub at: https://the-elxr.com/sessions/sgsportshub/

    (All websites were last accessed on 18 May 2020.)

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  • Cooking Pasta


    Whip up this classic Italian dish with minimal fuss anytime! Snap a photo and wow your friends with your own creation of pasta Alfredo using simple ingredients.

    You’ll need:

    • Salt
    • Ground black pepper
    • Unsalted butter
    • Parmesan cheese
    • Fettuccine (or other pasta of your choice)

    Try this recipe and tag us at @publiclibrarysg with #librarysg

    Source: How to make… Pasta Alfredo! 3 INGREDIENTS! (2 April 2017)

    Be inspired!

    Read these eBooks to step up your food game.

    Noodlemania image

    Noodlemania! 50 Playful Pasta Recipes
    By Melissa Barlow
    Publisher: Quirk Books

    You’ll go noodle crazy with the playful and colourful pasta recipes in Noodlemania! Try Super Stuffed Monster Mouths made with jumbo pasta shells, Rapunzel Pastamade with extra-long spaghetti and, Spider Cookies made with crunchy ramen noodles. Have fun in the kitchen while sharpening your cooking skills with Noodlemania!

    This book is available on Overdrive at https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/1219921.

    Maker comics image

    Maker Comics: Bake Like a Pro!
    By Falynn Koch
    Publisher: First Second

    Sage’s fellow wizards-in-training get to study pyromancy and transfiguration, but Sage has been assigned an internship in…baking? She doesn’t think that sounds fun, or particularly magical! But her instructor insists that baking is a tasty form of alchemy. In an enchanted kitchen, Sage learns the simple science behind baking perfect pies, breads, cookies, and more!

    This book is available on Overdrive at https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/4530253.

    Teen tip image

    The act of cooking not only soothes the mind, but also relaxes your body. Getting into the flow of the activity can help to ease the tension in our bodies.

    Source: https://www.bustle.com/p/7-emotional-benefits-of-cooking-thatll-make-you-want-to-actually-use-your-kitchen-9957022

    (All websites were last accessed on 5 May 2020.)

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

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  • For the ‘Gram


    Level up your Instagram posts! Watch this video to learn 10 simple tricks to make your stories stand out.

    Try these hacks and tag us at @publiclibrarysg with #librarysg

    Source: 10 creative ways to edit your insta stories using ONLY the instagram APP ♡ (no other apps needed!) (20 April 2019)

    Be inspired!

    Check out these eBooks to boost your Instagram creativity.

    Cats on instagram image

    Cats on Instagram
    By @cats_of_instagram
    Publisher: Chronicle Books

    Cat lovers, rejoice! This irresistible book compiles over 400 photos from the hugely popular Instagram profile @cats_of_instagram into a keepsake treasure. Playful categories including “bowties,” “surprise!,” and “happy cats” showcase all the charm and delightful quirks of the wide world of cats. This is an ebook that will have feline fans smiling in recognition, surprise, and appreciation.

    This book is available on Overdrive at https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/2688902.

    A beautiful mess image

    A beautiful mess photo idea book : 95 inspiring ideas for photographing your friends, your world, and yourself
    By Elsie Larson
    Publisher: Potter Style

    Ready to show your photos some love? Whether it’s of your sister’s smile, your morning coffee, or your new puppy, photos are a way to connect on Facebook and Instagram, keep a visual diary of our lives, and create momentos for future generations. Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, creators of the mega-popular DIY style blog A Beautiful Mess, are in love with photographing everyday life. Here, they share that love with 95 all-new tips and photo challenges that will inspire you to style and snap better photos and then transform them into simple yet stunning projects and gifts. You’ll learn how to: Take the most flattering self-portraits; Be your own stylist to turn dull, cluttered photos into pretty lifestyle photography; Capture adorable couple portraits; Turn everyday moments, hobbies, and rituals into amazing photos.

    This book is available on Overdrive at: https://nlb.overdrive.com/media/1233633.

    Teen tip image

    Expressing yourself through drawings or comics, and sharing your artwork are great ways of staying connected with your friends during the school holidays.

    You can share your artwork with teens around the world through UNICEF at: https://www.voicesofyouth.org/drawing-time-coronavirus-were-looking-you

    Source: https://www.voicesofyouth.org/campaign/covid-19-and-youth-mental-health#header–16071

    (All websites were last accessed on 30 April 2020.)

    The book covers and synopses are the copyright of the respective publishing companies.

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